Sault Ste. Marie, MI – With a 5-3 win over Lake Superior Friday, 15th-ranked Bowling Green clinched a berth in the WCHA Playoffs with seven games left to play in the regular season.
Ryan Bednard started in net for the Falcons, stopping 24 of 27 shots faced. Nick Kossof countered for the Lakers, making 21 saves on 26 chances before being replaced after two periods. Mareks Mitens stopped the only shot he faced in relief for Lake Superior.
The Lakers opened the game’s scoring at 2:23 of the first period. Anthony Nellis re-directed a pass from Tyler Anderson in the corner to give Lake Superior the early lead.
The Falcons responded just 28 seconds later. Alec Rauhauser took a pass from Casey Linkenheld and skated in to the right face-off dot. He sent a wrist shot high that beat Kossof over his glove for his seventh goal of the season. Rauhauser’s goal was his seventh of the season and was also assisted by Cam Wright.
Lake Superior re-took the lead at 3:17 when Brayden Gelsinger’s pass attempt across the crease deflected off a Falcons’ skate into the net.
Bowling Green responded again, this time with a power-play goal at 10:21 of the first period. Alec Rauhauser fed the puck forward to Stephen Baylis who skated down the right wing. Baylis found Max Johnson who was crashing the net and one-timed a shot past Kossof for his eighth goal of the season.
The Falcons had 13 shots in the opening period while the Lakers had seven chances.
Bowling Green took their first lead of the game at 8:25 of the second period. Lukas Craggs took a cross-ice pass from Justin Wells and sent a wrist shot past Kossof for his eighth goal of the season. John Schilling had the second assist on the scoring play that gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead.
Brandon Kruse extended the Falcons’ lead to 4-2 at 12:13 of the second period. Tyler Spezia passed to Kruse who sent a shot from just outside the crease past Kossof for his sixth goal of the season.
Tyler Spezia picked up a goal for himself at 17:53 of the second period. Spezia toe-dragged the puck and sent a shot high over Kossof’s far shoulder for his sixth goal of the season. Spezia’s goal came on a three-on-two rush and was assisted by Casey Linkenheld and Chris Pohlkamp to extend the Falcons’ lead to 5-2.
The Falcons dominated the Lakers in the second period with 13 shots on net while holding Lake Superior to just two chances.
Mareks Mitens replaced Nick Kossof to begin the third period. Kossof’s night ended with 21 saves on 26 shots faced.
Lake Superior cut the Falcons’ lead to 5-3 at 12:02 of the third period. Lukas Kaelble scored a rebound goal off an initial shot by Gage Torrel on the power play.
Mitens was pulled for an extra-attacker with 3:26 to play in the game. But, the Falcons’ defense was up to the task and sealed the 5-3 win.
Bowling Green was badly outshot by the Lakers in the third period, giving up 18 shots while producing just one for themselves.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 15-8-6, 12-4-5-2 while the Lakers fall to 6-19-4, 4-14-3-0. The teams will conclude their weekend series Saturday at 7:07 PM.
- Alec Rauhauser (BGSU) – 1 G, 1 A
- Tyler Spezia (BGSU) – 1 G, 1 A
- Diego Cuglietta (LSSU) – 2 A